Two Good-News Housing Stories

130914 Site of Kaiapoi Pensioner Units (400x300)

Site preparation for housing-for-the-elderly units in Kaiapoi

There has been a lot going on in Williams Street in Kaiapoi, just north of Ohoka Road, recently.  A couple of old houses have been demolished and there has been earth-moving and compaction.

This is the site for Kaiapoi’s new housing for the elderly that will replace the units between Hilton Street and Raven Quay, west of the town centre. These units were red-zoned by the Government in 2011 and for a long time the Council was looking for available land that was close to the town centre so that residents could get to the shops easily and which was large enough to contain about 25 units.

This was about all there was and fortunately it was made available to the Council.

On another tack, people have been pointing out that many of the red-zoned houses in Kaiapoi and Christchurch are perfectly sound and are able to be shifted away from their suspect land and reused elsewhere.  There has been a bit of such removal going on, but the availability of land has often been an issue.

In a welcome move, however, the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand have joined forces to bring houses out of the red zones and refurbish them at Rolleston Prison. The prisoners will learn skills that should be able to get them jobs when they are released and the houses will be taken over by Housing New Zealand for rental.

130910 Rolleston Prison House Refurbishment (400x300)

Relocated houses being refurbished at Rolleston Prison

As everybody knows, housing supply is a real issue in Waimakariri and Christchurch. These are small steps along the way.

As an indicator of the shortage, the Waimakariri Council usually has about 30 on its waiting list for the 100+ elderly persons’ units it has in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Oxford and Woodend. Since the earthquakes, that list has about trebled.

 

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